There was nothing photogenic about our chores this glorious autumn weekend – mowing, weeding, cutting back – so I’ll concentrate on an exploration of another Heath henhouse. Joey built, overbuilt he said, this 10×12 foot henhouse for his ten hens. You can see he has a lot of help! He read a lot and looked at a lot of henhouses, and talked to a lot of people before he built his. The forethought shows. His luck shows too. He found the little stairway at the town dump. He said it is attached to the henhouse with only three or four screws. The building itself is built on skids, much like Bob’s, which I wrote about here. Joey said he built it on skids because he wasn’t sure where he wanted to put it permanently.
Joey wanted the children to be able to collect the eggs without going into the chicken space so he set aside this part of the chicken house for storage and copied Sheila’s system which I wrote about here.
The flat part of the cabinet can be lifted and hooked up to make it easy to clean the egg boxes. The row of boxes is not nailed down. The row can be removed entirely making it very easy to shake out and clean. This is a great idea.
The reason for the second door is too keep out critters who have been known to open latches. When this door opens all any critter will see is a blank wall. On clean out day, Joey is outside with the cart and the kids sweep out all the bedding. They do a terrific job, Joey said. He then vacuums out all the cobwebs and they all put down more shavings.
One of the most unique elements of Joey’s henhouse, and one I am going to add to mine, is this oystershell dispenser. It is made of two lengths of PVC pipe with a cut back PVC elbow on the end and fastened to the wall with ordinary brackets. He just pours crushed oyster shell into the pipe and the chickens take it as they wish. And Joey says they really like it and it goes very fast. He uses these in the winter when the chickens do not get the necessary grit from pecking around in the soil. The oystershell provides grit all winter long, in addition to providing calcium for strong eggshells.